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Map of Paul's first missionary journey.
Thanks to Craig Koester of Lutheran Seminary for permission.
13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.
[They came to Perga in Pamphylia] From Cyprus Paul and his associates sailed north toward what is now modern Turkey, landing at the port of Perga, a city situated on a navigable river about ten miles inland from the coast.
[John ... returned to Jerusalem] John Mark was a very young man who had grown up in Jerusalem and, perhaps in the spirit of adventure, had accompanied Paul and Barnabas from Jerusalem to Antioch of Syria and then continued on with them as they set out on their first missionary journey. By the time the group reached Perga John had travelled enough and decided to return home to Jerusalem. Acts 12:12, Acts 12:25.
14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.
[Antioch in Pisidia] Continuing north from Perga the party arrived at Antioch, a major city in Pisidia. Antioch was a popular name for cities around the border of the Mediterranean. In this case, Christian missionaries from Antioch of Syria were visiting Antioch of Pisidia.
[Went into the synagogue on the sabbath day] Contrary to the condition today where Judaism and Christianity are looked upon as distinct and conflicting religions, Paul understood that Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of Jewish prophecy and is indeed the long awaited Messiah. Worship of Jesus Christ is the true mature state of the Jewish religion.
15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.
[The rulers of the synagogue sent unto them] On this day the synagogue was pleased to welcome famous visitors from faraway Antioch of Syria.
Editor's note: Paul's sermon is best appreciated as a whole without the distractions of references or comments. Please use this link to view the sermon in clear text.
16 Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.
[Men of Israel, and ye that fear God,] There were in attendance that day both Jews (Men of Israel) and Gentiles (Ye that fear God.) Gentiles present ranged from those who were merely curious to those who had fully embraced Judaism (proselytes). Paul's mission was to address the information and misinformation which had spread throughout the Jewish world regarding Jesus of Nazareth.
17 The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it.
18 And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness.
19 And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot.
[Chanaan] An alternate spelling of Canaan, used by the translators here and in Acts 7:11. No mysterious significance.
e. Instructed Israel to displace the nations of Caanan.
20 And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.
g. Established a government for Israel.
Unfortunately, Israel found it difficult to be "different" from the nations around them and gradually adopted their idolatrous practices. By so doing they unwittingly gave up the blessed existence which could have been theirs and instead earned for themselves thousands of years of pain.
h. Patiently gave Israel a succession of human judges to help them maintain a state of faithfulness.
21 And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.
i. Granted Israel's wish for an earthly king.
[Saul the son of Cis] Same name as Kish of the Old Testament. The difference is that the Old Testament is translated from Hebrew to English while the New Testament is translated from Greek to English resulting in different spelling.
22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
k. Showed that Saul was spiritually inadequate to lead.
l. Raised up unto them David to be their king.
23 Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:
m. Promised that Messiah, the ultimate Savior, would be a descendant of King David.
24 When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.
26 Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
o. Sent his Son, Jesus, to be the Savior of the world.
The religious leadership in Jerusalem, who should have most readily received Jesus, instead rejected and crucified him. Mark 15:12-15.
When the crucifiers had finished their work, Jesus' followers took his dead body down from the cross and laid him in a tomb. End of story -- or so the religious leadership thought. Matthew 27:57-66.
30 But God raised him from the dead:
p. Did not alter his plan of salvation just because man disapproved.
32 And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,
38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
q. Has sent us to you to present this message.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."
40 Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets;
r. Warns that many will not believe. Unfortunately, unbelief is spiritually fatal.
As John 3:16-17 offered salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, later verses in the same chapter warn of the consequences of unbelief.
"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
This page updated 10/03/2010Copyright (C) 2009,2010 Robert C. Denig. All rights reserved